Oh, my! ‘Supernatural’ is back. The first of the last four episodes of season 3. Sam and Dean are a sight for sore eyes. I just wish… I just wish that their few minutes on the screen last night hadn’t been the equivalent oftaking a trip with them on the high seas – in the dead of night – with no compass or lanterns or even the night sky to guide our way. It was not a pleasant experience.
I’ve never been a fan of jostling, hand-held camera work. It makes me queasy. I realize that this sort of episode might’ve given the cast and crew a bit of a break in their daunting schedule. And I can see where GhostFacers may have given our boys a bit of ‘free rein’ in how they dealt with their characters. BUT, this episode called GhostFacers was
like a well-intentioned experiment gone horribly wrong. From this day forward I shall never speak ill of ‘Bugs’ or ‘Route 666’ again.They are stellar. They had Sam and Dean, full of angst and anger. Giving us their all. Giving us THEM. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted (or needed). GhostFacers?– not so much….
I guess I write this from the perspectiveof an obsessive fan that has gotten spoiled rotten from the amazing story-telling we’ve come to know and love. And from the amazing performances that Jensen & Jared give us each week. GhostFacers left me bereft of any connection to either of those qualities. I was expecting a full, 6 course meal and
was served dillweed. (Not to denigrate dillweed. It has its’ place – I love Kosher Dills)
So, when it comes right down to it, all I’m saying is – No more experiments, no more messing with a formula that has been proven tried-and-true. The brothers deserve better. And so do we.
I always seem to be a day late and a dollar short when I’m inspired
to write a bit about our ‘boys’. And this has probably be addressed
a thousand time but I just gotta put my two cents worth in.
It really hit home just how much of an emotional commitment I’d made to this magnificent show we all know and love when I heard about the end to the writer’s strike and the promise of a season four and a flood-gate of relief and tears washed over me. I was a wreck but the feeling was so delicious that I must relish the moment. To say that all the events concerning ‘Supernatural’ have been a roller-coaster ride is an enormous understatement. Again, I have to wonder where all of these emotions originate and I’ve come to the conclusion (after deep contemplation and desperate self-examination) that…… I got nothin’. Suffice it to say that it’s an odd blend of Love and Love. Love of my family and love of the show and the two brothers that are its’ staple. Both these aspects are so intertwined in my psyche that I could not unravel the two if I tried. And I don’t really want to. ‘Supernatural’ has added a paradigm shift and whole new dimension in my thoughts that I never thought possible. I’ve just decided to ride the rapids and go where it takes me. No more angst. No more confusion. I’ve emancipated myself. I have relinquished my tenuous hold on reality in this instance. And I do not regret it. I am officially a ‘Supernatural’ Asylum Inmate.
I want to impart for others, and myself as well, some thoughts that have been nibbling at the corners of my mind for some time and every once in a while I see references to it here and there. And that is - Dean’s ability to evade many of the traps and pitfalls that Sam’s so often seems to get mired in. In my mind, Dean’s been set apart and been given special protection in this battle between good and evil. From the beginning, even though they were trained in the same way by their Dad, Dean and Sam seem to be following separate paths. Ultimately, they have the same goal they’re striving for. And, on occasion, Sam has had a few flashes of brilliance. On ‘A Very Supernatural Christmas’ those wreaths in the homes of the victims come to mind. Those insights of Sam’s may have sped their investigation a bit quicker but knowing their ‘business as usual’ tactics, they would have accomplished their goal without that bit of information. Sam is more ‘research savvy’ and can dig up info that will speed up their plans to finesse a positive goal.
But, once armed with that information, Dean is able to look at the big picture and glean terribly important strategies on how to deal with each situation at hand. Call it instinct. He seems to have it in abundance. But I believe it goes much deeper that that. His instincts were dead-on in ‘Croatoan’. He really should have shot that SOB in the doctor’s office in spite of Sam’s pleading with him to spare the guy. In ‘Houses of the Holy’ he KNEW that the entity they were dealing with was a Spirit and he was right. In ‘Hell House’ his strategy for the ultimate end of Mordechai was just to torch the house. Simple but effective. In ‘Devils Trap’ the YED nearly killed Dean. And sure, Dean had killed YED’s kids which was motivation enough to explain the demon’s actions but DEAN KILLED YED’S KIDS. That’s an amazing accomplishment! Dean is definitely a force to be reckoned with. And All Things Evil know that. He’s one scary guy. And very dangerous.
I know that Mr. Kripke meant the main focus of this series to be Sam but thank goodness, Dean has been placed beautifully in the general scheme of things. Actually, to my mind, Dean out-shadows Sam in nearly everything he does. Maybe it’s because he’s the big brother and I just gravitate to him as the eldest. ( I’m the eldest of seven, myself.) Or maybe it’s just my nature to root for the under-dog. Of the two brothers, Dean certainly has gotten the most bloody.
But, my belief is that Dean has been given some special protection from the time he was very small. A lot of clues here lead up to that conclusion. And maybe none of them mean diddly-squat but I gotta believe that if they were in the show, there was a reason. Words mean things.
First, Dean's mom told him that Angels were watching over him. Dean informed Sam of that in ‘Houses of the Holy’ and we heard Mary speak those very words in WIAWSNB. Since she apparently knew the YED, that statement holds a very important message.
Second, that talisman that Sam gave him (even though it was originally meant for John) could be another way in which Dean is afforded a special place in the battle between good and evil. Since he wears it in every single episode, I still must draw the conclusion that it’s significant.
And third, Dean does seem to be immune to alot of the crap that those brothers have to sift through. After all. he is Batman.
I realize I’m being very selective in my examples and there are certainly exceptions. Think ‘What Is and What Should Never Be’. But even in that instance, it was Dean alone who ‘dug himself out’, as Sam says, and figured out what the Djinn’s real powers were. Dean is a beacon that penetrates the darkness and shines the light of truth on the brother’s forays against the dark forces. Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things I trust that not only will Dean NOT go to Hell, I really do believe that he has been given a special power by something even more forceful that those Demons. I don't think he knows it yet. But it's going to become clearer to him (and us) as time runs short for both him and Sam. At least, I sure as Hell hope so.
Okay, so I don’t hold to fairy tales that much, although when I was a kid I did go through a phase when I believed in the Boogyman, but that’s another story - maybe to be told at a later time. I just have to say that this fairy tale has come true for me. It’s the one where two young men who had never met before finally do meet in the oddest of circumstances. They are both vying for the same role on a television series.
And they DECIDE that, in order to give their respective roles justice, they are going to become friends, mainly because they know what it’s like to work on a series where the atmosphere
is less than cordial. And because of that conscious effort on both their parts to make this friendship work, we get to revel in the perfect chemistry that is Sam & Dean Winchester personified by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. You know how, when you see things unfold, that some things were just meant to be? I really, really do believe that this friendship is one of those things. To me, it shows a beautiful sense of maturity and compassion from them. And when I hear stories about their commitment to make those roles of Sam and Dean really mean something, you know there’s something very special going on. I believe in a lot of thingsbut coincidences aren’t one of them (to quote a Bobby-ism). This closeness shared by Jensen and Jared hasn’t gone unnoticed by ‘Supernatural’ fandom, either. Maybe that’s why so much fanfic has been devoted to their ‘relationship’, as the characters, Sam & Dean. Some very excellent, somenot so much. It’s practically an industry in itself. To garner that kind of intense scrutiny shows that there’s a lot more to their friendship than meets the eye. Not in some perverted way as some would wish, but a no-holds-barred friendship that transcends the mundane and propels them into an area built on an incredible trust.
Trust that ensures that whatever transpires on the series Jensen and Jared only want the best for one another and from one another. And they go about this by making sure that they don’t slack off or give a ‘called-in’ performance. They have each other’s back both on and off-screen. The way true brothers would. How rare a commodity that is!
What inspired this train of though was just another little post on a message board that I read today. It’s not so much what it said but had a huge impact at its root. And this may sound silly to y’all but it spoke volumes to me. All it said was that Jensen and Jared got a bit tipsy celebrating Jensen’s birthday and that Jensen ending up sleeping on Jared’s couch that night. That’s all…. But it told me that Jensen and Jared are friends for the long haul. That, despite the whole world demanding their bodies and souls, they could find a safe haven in one another’s company. In their case, when that friendship was forged out of necessity it has since developed beyond all expectations. And it shows me that this enduring (and endearing) support for one another has its roots in the way they were both raised. That’s right....FAMILY! I believe Jensen and Jared are very humble and well-adjusted guys that know the importance of family and friends and don’t take those things lightly. It’s a part of them. It’s in their hearts and souls. And it makes my heart sing to see how much they’ve grown. They’re both in solid relationships with beautiful girls that love and understand them.
They are lovable guys. I’m like a proud mom ecstatic that these two ‘brothers’ have made it through good and bad times none the worse for wear. How often does that happen? It’s so rare that I’m willing to believe that the affection they share will overcome any obstacles that may endanger this most awesome example of brotherly love. Hey, in my mind’s eye, I can even see a double wedding in their future.
For me this show just wouldn’t be ‘Supernatural’ without Jensen and Jared as their respective characters, Dean and Sam. And I’m a happy camper when an episode is filled to the brim with them. ‘Dream a Little Dream’ is just such an episode. I mean, where do I begin? My cup runneth over! We get to see some of the their best acting and a broadening of their characters like no episode has ever done before. I never appreciated how thirsty I was for a long drink of the Sam & Dean storyline persuasion until I saw this episode. TO THE BRIM – I TELLS YA!
Food. (Hmmmm… maybe it’s time for supper. Can’t stop! Must finish!) This episode has so much food for thought that I could spend the next month thinking and writing about it and still not plumb its’ depths. So, rather than attempt that, I will instead focus on some of the highlights. Although, to be fair, this whole episode is highlightful. Is that a word? Not to worry. We’ll just take it as it comes.
It’s always nice to have Bobby in an episode because I think he brings out the best in Dean and Sam. He’s sorta their guiding light, so to speak. But, here, in the episode’s opening scene, he’s in a dark place himself, lost and trapped and scared out of his wits. Not the usual set of circumstances we normally find him in. And it’s because he’s not really there. Not really. Just caught in a nightmare he can’t wake up from. And a Demon at his heels. And so it begins…
From there we find Sam in a bar. Dean spots Sam drinking whiskey at in the afternoon and reprimands him. Poor Sammy’s all sad and pouring out his feelings about his perceived failure at helping Dean and tells him: “I tried to save you. I mean…. where you’re going?..... what you’re gonna become?… I can’t stop it. I mean… no one can save you because you don’twanttobesaved…... how can you care so little about yourself?” That’s a great question. You can tell that Sam is heartbroken and at this point, so am I. He just wants so much more for Dean but Dean isn’t cooperating. And when he’s exposed to this honesty, Dean has little to say. But, you see all kinds of emotions cross his face. Bewilderment. Denial. Resignation. Maybe a little belligerence. And I’m thinking – ‘How the Hell does he do that! How can Jensen do that?’ I mustn’tponder it too long because I can get lost in the reverie that is ‘Supernatural’. . . so, onward and upward. Sam’s queries are interrupted when Dean receives a call, so off they go and we next find them in a hospital room with Bobby lying comatose in a bed, looking pretty helpless and vulnerable. I thought it was a wonderful revelation to find that Bobby had chosen Dean as his emergency contact. Gives us just a little bit more insight on their relationship. He has no one else but those boys.
When we next find Dean & Sam, they’re in Bobby’s hotel room trying to make some sense of his predicament, and in usual hunter fashion they swiftly find the clues they’re looking for in his closet, hidden behind his hung-up clothes. So, they’re off and runnin’ to find the cause of Bobby’s present state. Sammy works on the research end of this ‘dream root’ that Bobby’s notes and pictures mention. And Dean?Well, Dean’s doing his ‘detective’ gig and, man, he’s getting very good at it. From Bobby’s notes Sam spotted an obit about a Sleep Disorder doctor who died after falling asleep and never woke up. Kinda like the sit’iation Bobby was in. Dean’s whole ‘tough cop’ thing when confronting the late Doctor’s sleep lab assistant was a joy. She wasn’t very forthcoming with the info he needed until he threatened her with the prospect of taking her in for questioning. Took some testicular fortitude. But it got her to spill her guts. Who said Dean can’t think on his feet. See?...... He uses his upstairs brain!
The next stop in his investigation takes him to one of the good doctor’s test subjects, Jeremy Frost.
There’s another small revelation here, this time about Dean’s past, when Jeremy tells him that the elixir he had to take to get him into a dream-state caused him very vivid dreams. “Like a bad acid trip, you know? And Dean responds: “Totally! …I mean…. No!” Naughty Dean.
So, armed with all this information, Dean and Sam come to the conclusion that they will need to score some ‘African dream root’ ifthey’re gonna be able to help Bobby. When Dean realizes that Bela is their only hope to get their hands on some and will have to ask her for help, his statement to Sam sums it up pretty good. “I feel dirty just thinking about it.” But you gotta do what you gotta do. So….It’s Bela or squat.
This is where I’m going to mention an odd scene in this adventure.
I kinda got the impression that the crew were not sure just where to put Sammy’s dream about Bela so they just tossed it at this point. It would have fit in better after Sam’s little afternoon bender except.. there was no mention about soliciting Bela’s help until after Dean and Sam had visited a sleeping Bobby in the hospital and Sam seemed sober by that time. But, never mind that. Sam’s hidden (maybe even to himself) crush on Bela was wonderful. Just the way I would imagine it would be if I were a 20 something guy and someone like her always skirting around my subconscious mind - even if she was a pain in the ass. Or maybe because she was. Who the hell knows. I just thought it was a delightful little scene that gave us just a small window into Sam’s slightly elicit desires. I just have to say here, to give Jared his much-deserved due, that he was incredible with HIS range of emotions after waking up from his lustful dream fantasy. Embarrassment and horniness and obfuscation about the state he was in was exquisite. Too precious for this world!
I gotta tell ya, when the brothers set off on their journey in their quest to come rescue Bobby, kick-started by some of the awful-tasting ‘dream root’ elixer with just a dollop of Bobby’s hair, I knew we were in for one helluva ride. Their jumping-off point was in Bobby’s rather gaudy hotel room and they landed….. in Bobby’s house, minus the books and dust. Let me tell you about the separate paths Sam and Dean took from there. Dean stayed back in the house, a house full of shadows and fear… and Sam….well, he went to explore outside and found himself in a bright and beautiful garden and an insane Jeremy (apparently the doctor’s star pupil) intent on doing him harm. Not sure what to make of that. I’ll just put my two cents worth in here. Actually, I have more questions than answers but I’ll give it a shot. Dean stayed inside, doing what he does best. You know, helping people and hunting things. Falling back on the kind of behavior that his Dad trained him to do so well. Whereas, Sam went off, outside his customary place next to Dean, beyond his comfort zone, exposing himself to a greater unknown. Where things aren’t always as they seem. Bigger and brighter but unexplored territory that contains more unpredictability. Kinda like where Sam is headed as YED’s chosen one. Maybe that’s why Bobby, later, when revived from his ‘sleep’ with the help of the boys, asked Sam if his dream experience had anything to do with his ‘psychic stuff’. And Sam answers: “No….well, I don’t think so.” And Bobby responds: “Good.” He hasn’t forgotten about Sam’s supposed ‘destiny’.
I’ll back-track at this point to bring us to Dean and his mission to bring Bobby out of his dream (actually a virtual nightmare considering that the Demon pursuing him was his wife and… had been dispatched by him because of an unfortunate demonic possession. It’s no wonder he never remarried and… it’s no wonder she was pissed) and back to the land of the living. And this he accomplishes by convincing Bobby that ‘this is ONLY a dream’ and tells Bobby: “You’re not gonna die. I’m not gonna let you die. You’re like a father to me.” With those stunning words, Bobby is able to break free from his nightmare and awakes from his dark slumber. With Dean’s task successfully completed, the brothers are brought back as well.
So far, so good. But now they must find the purveyor of death and nightmares and stop him before he kills them. We find out that Jeremy has disappeared and the only way to find him is to use the ‘dream root’, let down the barriers and put themselves in mortal danger. Guess who decides this course of action? Why, Dean, of course. He tells Sam: “I can handle it.” Sam responds: “Not alone, you can’t.” And with that, proceeds to rip some hair off Dean’s head. Too cute and so brotherly. Dean’s none too thrilled with the prospect of having Sam ‘digging around’ in his head. But Sam will not be deterred and follows Dean like the good brother he is. Sleep overtakes them and the first vision from Dean’s mind that they encounter is Lisa Braeden. She is ensconced on a picnic blanket with wine glasses held in anticipation of Dean joining her before they ‘have to pick Ben up from baseball’. Sam looks on, incredulous. All Dean can say is: “I’ve never had this dream before.” Which is probably true, but, it brings to the forefront Dean’s hidden desires and regrets. Feelings that he never dared express consciously but were tucked away deep within the recesses of his heart of hearts. A son to carry on his legacy. The love of his son’s mother. His dream-state laid bare, everything that he tried to keep hidden, even from himself is brought into the open.
When they both finally spot Jeremy, they sprint after him only to get separated again – following their own paths – dutifully intent upon executing their pursuit of the ‘evil’ that must be dealt with.
Sam first. He is the one who confronts the culprit that’s been causing
all the trouble. Jeremy wants to knock him down and keep him down.
Which he does. He’s becoming more powerful and restrains Sam to the ground with stakes and as we see Sam from above it strikes me that he is held in check in a manner reminiscent of Christ on the Cross.
And to reinforce that image, Jeremy puts great effort in beating Sam’s legs. That was the method used by the Romans to speed up the death of those they crucified. Will Sam be the savior that sends all the Demons, loosed upon an unsuspecting world, back to Hell where they belong?Will he be the one that saves Dean from his almost certain fate?
Dean, meanwhile, finds himself in a long hallway cleverly disguised as the woods he was just running in. And notices the door at the end of the hall. As he walks closer then pushes the door open, he finds someone sitting with his back to him. Dean calls out Jeremy’s name but the person sitting at the desk turns around and Dean realizes that this person is…him.
Dark Dean greets him: “Hey, Dean.” And our Dean, offering a typical rejoinder answers: “Aren’t you a handsome son-of-a-gun!” But Dark Dean is not put off: “We need to talk.” With that, our Dean (still in smart-ass mode) says: “I get it. I’m my own worst nightmare.” A very atsute declaration considering the terrifying circumstances. I am going toput forth the rest of their exchange verbatim. This amazing showdown needs to be posited as it was spoken. My paraphrasing could never, ever to it justice.
Dark Dean: “I know how dead you are inside….how worthless you feel. I know how you look into a mirror and hate what you see. You’re going to Hell and you won’t lift a finger to stop it.”
Our Dean (under his breath): “C’mon, Dean. Wake Up!”
Dark Dean: “ After all, you got nuthin’ outside of Sam. You are nothing. As mindless and obedient as an attack dog.”
Of course, our Dean denies that. Fight back, Dean!
Dark Dean (we only see his cruel mouth): “What are the things that you want? What are the things that you dream?”
Now the camera pulls back a little so we see a little more of Dark Dean as he continues to torment our Dean. He says: “I mean… your car? That’s Dad’s. Favorite leather jacket? Dad’s! Your music? Dad’s. Do you even have an original thought? No!” And to further twist the knife, he barks out a Dad-like order: “Watch out for Sammy! Look out for your little brother, Boy!” But he’s not finished… “You can still hear your Dad’s voice in your head, can’t ya? Clear as a bell.”
Our Dean: “Just Shut Up!”
Dark Dean: “I mean…think about it. All he ever did was train you. Boss you around. Sam? Sam he doted on. Sam he loved. Dad knew who you really were. A good soldier and nothing else. Daddy’s Blunt Little Instrument. Your own father didn’t care whether you lived or died. Why should you?” Now I know that Dark Dean was only speaking to our Dean’s self-hatred but his dad DID care if Dean lived or died. He traded his life for Dean’s. But when all was said and done, it was too late to heal the damage his Dad had done to him. The result was a broken and ravaged soul.
Up to this point, our Dean has reacted only minimally. But his face speaks a thousand words. I’m stunned. I’m mesmerized. I can’t begin to imagine the agony he is going through by this time. And my heart is breaking for him. (Jensen made mention of this scene at a question-and-answer session at Chicago Con in November. When he was done filming that segment, he called home to talk to family and to tell them to remind him why he had chosen this career. I can understand his anguish.)
But Dark Dean finally pushes our Dean beyond passive listening.
He finally pisses our Dean off and we see a glimmer of the rage he’s been hiding for so long. The rage he subdued so he wouldn’t have to confront his own fears. And I rejoice! This show is ….. remarkable!
Our Dean finally fights back!: “You Son of a Bitch! My father was an obsessed bastard! All that crap he dumped on me about protecting Sam? That was HIS crap! He’s the one who couldn’t protect his family! He’s the one who let Mom die…..who wasn’t there for Sam! I always was! He wasn’t there! I didn’t deserve what he put on me and I don’t deserve to go to Hell !!!!!!”And I’m cheering for our Dean. Devastated by the power of his devastation. And I think again – ‘How does Jensen do it? Incredible!’
I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that this would have put an end to Dark Dean’s taunting, but it was not meant to be. His threat cuts right to the bone as he turns into Demon Dean: “You can’t escape me, Dean! YOU’RE GONNA DIE!AND THIS…..THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE GONNA BECOME !!” And then it’s over. Dean and Sam wake up. But…Now…Dean might just be ready to talk to Sam about his fears.
When they’re throwing their stuff in the trunk, Dean questions his little brother: “Hey….Sam….I was wondering…. When you were in my head, what’d you see?” Kinda feelin’ him out to see if Sam knew what had happened to him? Maybe? Sam: “Ahh…just Jeremy. He kept me separated from you. Easier to beat my brains out, I guess. What about you? You never said.”Dean: “Nuthin’…I was looking for you the whole time.”
Once in the car, though, Dean hesitantly decides to open up to Sam just a little. A baby step. A giant leap for him.
“Sam?” “Yeah?” Dean clears his throat. Attempting to tell Sam of his new commitment to start fighting for his life. “I’ve been doing some thinking. And….Well, the thing is…. I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna go to Hell.” And Sam doesn’t know if he can believe what he’s hearing. And with a quiet voice he says: “All right. Yeah. We’ll find a way to save you.” A flicker of emotions cross Dean’s face. Most pre-dominant is just a hint of relief. And all he says is: “Okay. Good.” Two words that speak volumes.
BUT THAT SON OF A BITCH IS STILL INSIDE HIS HEAD - TAUNTING HIM!
Many times have I reflected on certain scenes of ‘Supernatural’ in my mind. There is so much food for thought in that precious and beloved series. Lately, I’ve been missing my kids terribly. I want to see them. Be with them. Enjoy their company. I wish we lived closer. I’m feeling sorry for my self when suddenly, there’s a scene from ‘Salvation’ that just appears out of nowhere. In it, John is talking to his boys. His words are so full of sadness and regret. He voices the ways he wishes things could have been different for his family. These are his words to Sam; ‘I want you to go to school. I want Dean to have a home” and with his voice breaking with emotion, “I want Mary alive.” But none of those wishes were meant to be. In the harsh light of reality they had to play the hand they were dealt. Do the best they could under the circumstances. In their world, as in ours, wishes are just that……wishes.
But, we do get to see a glimpse of how things could have been different through Dean’s eyes in ‘What is and What Should Never Be’. Those wishes come from his deep and abiding love for his family. His wish for a better life for all of them. And in this alternate universe, on the surface, things do seem wonderful and somewhat peaceful. Sammy and Jess are getting married. Their Mom is alive and well. Dean, himself, has a beautiful lady who loves him unconditionally. Almost a dream come true.
Okay, so everything’s not perfect. Their Dad is gone. But Dean even finds comfort in that. At least it wasn’t some evil SOB that took him down but a stroke – at home – in his bed. Much more troubling for Dean, though, is his relationship with Sam. They don’t get along so well. Sam doesn’t really know him and trusts him even less. That seems to hurt Dean the most…. knowing Sam wants nothing to do with him. Dean tries to find a way for them to get closer and even suggests that they go hunting together but Sam shoots that idea down in no time flat. As my Uncle CJ used to say ‘With everything good, there’s something bad.’ And that bad thing was Dean’s relationship with his brother. But I haven’t mentioned the second half of Uncle CJ’s sage words…. ‘With everything bad, there’s something Good’. And the good for Dean was the fact that his wishes weren’t real. In reality, Sammy is there for him, filled with love and concern. Just as it should be. As Sam told him on a later episode; ‘Be careful what you wish for.’
The human spirit is strong. We rise to the occasion. And the Winchesterboys have risen to the occasion time and time again. Magnificently. And they did it – together – despite what happened in their lives or more likely, because of what happened in their lives. They have dealt with horrendous loss and almost insurmountable odds and have become stronger for it. The way things were meant to be. They’re doing what they were meant to do. Saving people, hunting things – the family business. At the end of ‘What is and What Should Never Be’ Sam and Dean try to come to terms with the kind of life Dean wished for and the kind of life they must now live.
Dean: You should’ve seen it, Sam. Our lives… You were such a wussy.
Sam: So we didn’t get along then, huh?
Dean: I thought it was supposed to be this perfect fantasy.
It was just a wish. I wished for Mom to live. Mom never died. We never
went hunting and you and me – we just never…..you know…
Sam: Yeah. Well, I’m glad we do. And I’m glad you dug yourself out, Dean.
Most people wouldn’t of had the strength.
Dean: You had Jess. Mom was gonna have grandkids.
Sam: Yeah but, Dean, it wasn’t real.
Dean: I know. But I wanted to stay.
I wanted to stay so bad.
I mean, ever since Dad… All…all I could think about is how much this
job’s cost us. We’ve lost so much. We’ve sacrificed so much.
Sam: But people are alive because of you. It’s worth it, Dean. It is.
It’s not fair…and, you know…it hurt’s like Hell, but it’s worth it.
And that about says it all. I love those Winchester brothers.
What is the cost of a hug? To many of us, hugs re-establish our hold on our loved ones, reassure us of their warmth and life. You can tell that Sam is one of those guys. He would’ve fit right in with our family. But for Dean, hugs come with a pretty hefty price tag. In his mind, anyway. It could crumble his façade at a moment’s notice. As the older brother, Dean has to keep up appearances. Never let his guard down. In his mind, a hug would break down his defenses. Let Sam see a side of him that he kept hidden from the world. In his mind, a hug would make him look weak.
We’ve seen two exceptions from Dean when he lets the wall down. In ‘Shadow’ Sam and Dean finally see their dad face to face after months of not knowing if he was dead or alive. No gratuitous hug there. It was heartfelt and genuine. The other oh-so momentous occasion comes in ‘All Hell Breaks Loose Pt. 1’ Dean grabs Sammy and holds him tight. Maybe a bit too tight. It causes Sam a lot of pain. But Dean had just brought his little brother back from the dead. And he holds onto Sam as if his own life depended on it because, in a way, it did. With the horrendous sacrifice he had made to keep his dearly beloved family intact, he had to make sure it was worth the cost. And holding Sam close to him assured Dean that Sam was, indeed, back. He was NOT going to let Sam out of his grasp ever again. Because in Dean’s mind, Sam is what matters to him. More so than his own life.
One of the reasons this show struck such a chord with me was the relationship between the brothers. Their commitment to one another against all odds with an unwavering sense of duty for one another. Our family never had to deal with those kind of situations. But getting to know these boys, Dean and Sam, brought me back to memories of my own family. Indeed, on the month I ran across this amazing series called ‘Supernatural’ (June 2006) I was going through a rather bleak period in my life. Let me expound a bit. From the time we were little, our Daddy instilled in us the importance of family, of sticking together, of standing up for one another, of putting our family before all others. He knew that with our priorities set straight, all of our other relationships would have a better chance of success. And it has served us well in our lives to live that philosophy. I’ve passed those beliefs onto my kids ‘cause I know how important it is to have that love and trust and commitment to help get through the rough times. And we’ve had our share. Just like everyone.
It’s been 16 years since my dad died but that summer for some reason, it seemed to me like we’d just lost him and I missed him so very much. I would harken back to the many family gathering we had while Daddy was still alive. During those joyous events, we were all huggers. My brothers were no exception. They brought to our gatherings great reaffirming love and devotion to one another. And to our Dad. His greatest joy was seeing his sons all together – leaving their petty differences at the door of our childhood home and opening up their hearts and souls to one another. Our dad gave usthat ability. He was the glue that held us all together. And when he died, some of that closeness died with him. Family gatherings weren’t as joyous.
At this point in my musings I must add to these thoughts a little essay my son wrote when he was about fourteen. He is now 27 but at that point it had been four years since his Grandpa (our Dad) had died. He titled it ‘Memories Don’t Die’ and it just reinforces the reasons family is so important and why this show we call ‘Supernatural’ brought back to me how very precious family is.
`I remember waking up as a child to the most comforting sound - My Grandpa's lawnmower. It was always a comfort, sort of just knowing he was there, lovingly caring for his beautiful lawn as he cared for those around him. And I could just picture how proud he looked on his little lawn tractor, sitting tall with a broad smile on his face.
Everyone knew Ed was special by the way his easy-coming smile seemed to
brighten the room or how his infectious laughter seemed to carry through the air so easily.
My love for him couldn't have been any greater. And my love would grow when he called me my pet name "Little Benny". So sacred to me was that pet name that I would be furious if anyone else called me by that special name. (emphasis mine)
Holidays seemed so much more special at Grandpa's. Even though I was little I can still
recall the words us grandkids were waiting to hear: "Time to go to Grandpa's for Thanksgiving dinner!" And on the short trip over our minds were filled with the taste of Grandpa's wonderful dressing and the smell of his sweet tender turkey awaiting us on arrival. During the dinner we children would have to sit at a 'kids' table longingly glancing at the 'adults' table which was always filled with loving and friendly conversations between my grandpa, seated at the head of the table, and all the other relatives. You could see the joy in my grandpa's eyes as he saw all his children and grandchildren together as a family. Sure, we always wanted to sit at the 'adult' table but that's only because we didn't know it was much more special to witness that loving display than to actually had to have been a part of it.
Christmas was loved by one and all of our family, but most especially by Grandpa. He seemed to me to be St. Nick himself because of all the joy and love that he brought to the celebration of Christ's birthday. My Grandpa and uncles and aunts would talk of each other's health and the feeling of being together as a family once again was in the very air we breathed. Love filled my grandpa's house and it never ran out of love.
Summer was Grandpa's element. He was enraptured by the scenery and the smell in the air. But most of all Grandpa loved summer because of his garden. I remember Grandpa taking me and mom (that’s me) on a tour through his garden. His eyes would light up as he predicted how his garden would do this year and you could hear the joy in his voice as he answered patiently the questions I would ask about a plant here and there. He loved gardening and it showed in the way the rows were meticulously lined up or how there would never be any weeds in his garden.
Behind Grandpa's garden in the shade stood a beautiful grove of crabapple trees and every time I rode bike to Grandpa's farm he'd always greet me with a hug, a pinch on the cheek and he'd whisper happily, "Hi, little Benny." And we'd sit 'til sunset and eat crabapples and talk about many things. And just before sundown, just as the sky was lighting up as if in a wonderful display of Mother Nature's fireworks, Grandpa would stand up and stretch. His body would be silhouetted against the sky and I'd think - Grandpa looks too skinny.....But the worry would soon be forgotten as the night wore on.
But then it would get to the point where I wouldn't stop worrying for awhile. Like when Grandpa would come over and we'd pass the warm afternoons with Grandpa hitting pop flys to me as I would run and catch them. But whenever I threw the ball back to him he would groan from the countless aches and pains that he had. Every time he had to bend over and get the ball I'd start to worry a little bit more. But he never uttered a word of complaint, though sometimes I wish he would've.
Then on the worst night of my life Mom got a call from Grandma. "Yes, oh God, I'll be right over!" I asked where she was going and she hurriedly said she was going to Grandpa's.Just being a child I couldn't hear the fear in her voice. The anticipation of things to come. I asked if I could come too but she never answered, and I never saw Grandpa again.
For so long I was numb. Just floating through the days. And life seemed nothing more than a dream. It happened so quick, I'd think, but then I'd wonder how long we were expecting it to happen. Sure, he had lots of things wrong with him but goddammit, so many people loved him! He has so much love left to give. He had many more summers of gardening and hitting pop flys to me on mild summer afternoons. So many times left to pinch my cheeks and call me 'Little Benny'! And he had many more hours of mowing the lawn. He had this and so much more in him left.
`Mom said 'Memories don't die.' So why do people?, I'd ask silently.
That Thanksgiving after Grandpa died was silent and mirthless. I sat at the 'Adults' table but it wasn't as special to me anymore... it wasn't as special to any of us anymore. And every holiday less and less relatives would come. It almost seemed as if Grandpa actually tied us all together as a family. And saddest of all, on those beautiful summer mornings I knew Grandpa would've loved, I wouldn't hear a lawnmower doing its job guided with gentle hands by one of the most special people this world ever had... My Grandpa. Our Grandpa....
But sometimes, like on the morning of his funeral, I could've sworn I heard his John Deere running like it always did..........
By the time I’ve finished reading this, I’m always in tears. Benny (he finally let me and his dad call him that) has put into words what so many of us felt but couldn’t adequately express. I know if Benny could have brought his grandpa back to life, he would have done it. At any cost. But we all know that’s not possible. Dad is gone but he will never be forgotten. And I’m not trivializing our family loss when I say that the summer I found ‘Supernatural’ all of these thoughts were like a scab that I kept picking at until the pain was almost overwhelming. Then ‘Supernatural’ came into my life.
I must tell you that I had never felt compelled to write a ‘fan’ letter before this show. But I sent letters to Jensen and Jared just to tell them of the impact
their characters brought into my life. I don’t know if they ever received the letters. I guess, at this point, it doesn’t really matter. I just had to thank them for putting their hearts and souls into the roles of Dean and Sam. For me, ‘Supernatural’ and those two brothers reinforced the importance of sacrifice, of total dedication and commitment and love of family at a time when I needed to hear it most. I will be forever grateful for that. If we lose ‘Supernatural’ before it’s time (who knows what it’s future holds at this moment in time – The CW will be taking it off the schedule after the last of the new episodes air) it it will be like losing another beloved member of the family. And I don’t know if I’m ready to deal with that yet.
As to our Dean and his hesitance to overtly show affection…..(there’s always one in every family ) To me, he shows an abundance of affection. You just have to read between the lines. So I guess we should cut Dean a little slack. Those times he did hug were extenuating circumstances. And you can’t hold that against him – so to speak…. Hey, maybe Dean’s just not a hugger.
Been pondering this awhile. And while watching ‘Houses of the Holy’ for maybe the fifth time, I came to the realization that Supernatural needs a patron saint.
Churches have patron saints. Cities and towns do as well, Think SanFrancisco and St. Louis. Corpus Christi is another one. There are hundreds in the southwest U.S. alone, Even whole countries have been dedicated to the care of one saint or another. Mexico is a perfect example. Her patroness is Our Lady of Guadalupe.
So why not a television show? Especially one that is as worthy of patronage as Supernatural is. I’ll be the first to admit that Supernatural could use some divine assistance to keep it on the air to continue to reach more and more people. I have faith that given just a little more time it will be given a chance (love how Dean always uses that word with his good ol’ Texas drawl) to reach the hearts and minds of those who are searching for that special gift that was given to me. Supernatural has oft-times sent my heart soaring to the heights of ecstatic realization and to the depths of profound sadness. How can a show do that? Only one that is singularly astounding. Supernatural most definitely qualifies.
‘Houses of the Holy’ explores both Sam & Dean’s faith (or lack thereof) and finds them both struggling with the harshness of their vocation and trying to deal with all the evil that surrounds them. Sam finally admits to Dean that he prays every day and Dean seems a bit stunned at Sam’s declaration. “Man, you think you know a guy" He has faith that there is a higher power to maybe help him and his brother survive this life-and-death conflict they are immersed in. It’s what gives him strength. Dean, on the other hand, is contemptuous of any notion that there is anyone beyond what he can see, touch and/or kill. Can’t really blame him, I guess. As he says – his mom had faith. He remembers her putting him to bed at night and telling him that angels were watching over him. Then Evil took her from him. Can’t fault him for being angry at the thought that if there is a higher power it did nothing to save his mom.
But then the tables turned and a strange trail of events sent Sam to the brink of despair while giving Dean an opportunity to rethink his former mindset and reconsider the notion of divine intervention. Life does that to you sometimes.
This is where Supernatural’s patron saint comes in. This particular saint was even discussed in ‘Houses of the Holy’ when Sam and Dean are talking with Father in the neighborhood where murders had been committed. Dean slyly quizzes Father about the existence of angels expecting a negative answer but Father says that he certainly does believe. “Kinda comes with the job description”. Then Sam notices a picture on the wall of the church and correctly identifies the subject as Michael the Archangel. There is our patron saint. Michael does battle against evil, against demons. He has been given the power to send evil spirits down into Hell. Would that Sam and Dean had that special protection from all the demons that are hot on their trail. Would that a show as special as ‘Supernatural’ be dedicated to the special protection that Michael can bequeath.
Watched a lot of television over the course of my many, many years. There is nothing out there (past, present and I'm willing to bet, future) that even comes close to this show, 'Supernatural'.
‘Supernatural’ has opened my eyes to the wonders of what television can really be when everyone works together to create something wonderful. And it most definitely leaves me full of wonder. There have been many times while watching that I've had to stop, put the show on pause and take a breath. Incredible. The interaction of the two brothers with their love-hate relationship. Their total commitment to one another in life-and-death situations. And their unconditional love for one another leaves me wondering how on earth a single show could have such an impact on my heart and soul. It truly does leave me breathless. Sam and Dean have almost made as much an impression on my psyche as my own kids have.
Many times I've pondered why this is so. In all honesty, it kinda drives me a bit crazy. Still haven't come up with a definitive answer. I'll just say this. 'Supernatural' has heart. Despite everything those boys go through (and they've been through a helluva lot) in the end, they will never give up on one another. Have to give credit to the writers and directors for doing their part in making this show what it is. BUT Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki breathe life into the 'Dean' and 'Sam' characters. So much so that you get drawn in with them every minute they're on the screen. My son said it best when he offered his two cents worth about the appeal of 'Supernatural' - 'Sam and Dean interact with one another as true brothers should. Holding nothing back even if it lays bare the wounds they've suffered in their lives, spiritual and mental wounds they've inflicted on themselves and the physical wounds they've had to suffer because of their commitment, not only to one another but to others who, through no fault of their own, need help and sometimes even rescue.' Okay, I'm paraphrasing here but you get the picture.
Now if that's all there was to the show, it would still take precedence over 99.9% of the stuff that's out there. But that's only the beginning. And that's why I have to say that this show has been truly inspired.
It's Eric Kripke's baby. And he has put HIS heart and soul into this project. You can tell. And he has an impressive number to people right there with him who love the show as much as he does. There's a particular writer of a number of episodes that stands out. (Not counting Eric himself who's written a few mind-boggling scripts himself.) That name is Sera Gamble. She loves those boys, Sam & Dean, as much as us crazed fans do. That's evident. She also likes to see them get bloody. My kind of girl. And then there's the directors. Robert Singer and Kim Manners come immediately to mind. The camera loves Jensen and Jared. And those two directors know how to set up the shots that give an intimate window into the souls of Dean and Sam. The fact is, there are so many wonderful people (cast and crew) that I cannot possible give credit where credit is due. Suffice it to say that this creation has made me a believer in what is possible when a project such as this is forged in love.
So, as I see it, Jensen and Jared as Dean and Sam are the meat and potatoes of this sumptious meal. For the desert we get... evil creatures, bad guys, innocent (and not-so innocent) victims that Sam and Dean are always ready, willing and able to help - both guns blazing, and demons - lots and lots of demons. Demons that are not only after Sam and Dean's bodies but their souls as well. Makes for very compelling watching. And I, for one, have pulled myself up to the table, knife and fork at the ready.
Why this show is THE ONE. Why Sam and Dean have struck such a chord in my heart. Those two brothers have made their lives a testament to commitment. A commitment to family - a commitment specifically to one another - enduring obstacles that would cripple or destroy anyone else. But together, they keep one another strong. More powerful because love overcomes all obstacles. Makes impossible odds winnable. They KNOW that one can ALWAYS depend on the other. Nothing is more empowering than that. Their fight - together- is a fight on the side of the angels. And for them - together - right makes might. There is nothing in their way that can cause them to falter when they are each other's protector.